Highly playable Manuganu returns with an incredibly fun but almost indistinguishable sequel
Manuganu was one of the best platform runners that dropped last year, receiving some deservedly great feedback from its players. The game itself was speedy, extremely slick, and had oodles of personality so it was no surprise to see a sequel arrive just a year later. Could it possibly improve on the first? Let’s find out…
The problem with Manuganu is that it was a near-perfect game, and in creating Manuganu 2, beyond what feels like a slightly pacier game, with more rounded edges, graphics-wise – it’s simply more of the same. But for those unfamiliar with Manuganu, let’s start from the beginning and review its sequel on its own merits.
It takes the endless runner genre and sprints with it, using platforms to get a leg up over other games. Depth is added through additional functionality that gets added as you pass through the levels. At the start, the kid just keeps running with no brakes, and all he can do is jump. Eventually he can ‘double jump’, then glide, and eventually, an ‘x’ button appears on screen allowing you to halt him in his tracks – usually to stop him running into a giant stone fist being brought down onto the ground by an animated Peruvian demi-god statue.
The game is made up of four different stages – canyon, cliff, jungle, and volcano (no ice level this time), each with 10 levels. There’s 30 possible stars to collect on each level too – one from beating the set time, one from collecting a set amount of blue ‘coins’, and the other for collecting all three red and yellow discs that appear throughout the level. It starts fairly simple, but eventually it gets to the point where to beat the timer you have to complete the level without getting knocked down or halted even once. This adds to the challenge and it can be great fun trying to work out the acrobatics of getting past consecutive statues that pound their first, another that chucks out watermelons, and a spider (just for good measure) without having to hit the stop button.
This second outing is perhaps less nonsensical too. Instead of jumping and simply gliding chest first through the air, the character will now use an umbrella shaped flower, and sometimes a cape for an all-new flying mode. And instead of bizarre airborne fish, there are now actual birds. Someone would say that should have been the logical first step, before things got weird. Aside from that, very little has changed in the world of Manuganu, but you know what, we’re not sure we’d like it as much if it did.
But is it better than the first Manuganu? In reality, it’s almost impossible to tell – while it’s improved just by having an extra 12 months to iron out the creases, and add a couple of new environments, including some underground lake swimming, does an otherwise almost identical sequel still mean it’s better? It could be said that the lack of imagination would say otherwise, but there was already so much packed into the first. It’s a little faster, and a little smoother and a perfect release for those unfamiliar with the original, but for previous players, it might feel like something is lacking.
Price: $0.99 / £0.69
Size: 153 MB
Platform: iOS Universal
Developer: Alper Sarikaya